June is ending and thus is my spotlight on GBLT issues (although, hopefully they will continue to be sprinkled throughout my posts). If I had the time to respond and synthesize my thoughts on all of the great articles out there this month, I would. But I don’t. So here’s a roundup of what I’ve been reading but don’t have time to fully comment on.

“Reimagining the World” by Malinda Lo. The Horn Book. May/June 2015. pp.32-33.

Inheritance by Melinda LoLo is an author who also happens to be a lesbian. And this article talks about her habit of writing strong homosexual characters and other character that cross gender identity lines to their limits. I loved that she said this: “[…] this is the central project I’m engaged in: transformation of deviance into normalcy. My goal […] has been to take story types that have traditionally excluded lesbians and bisexual women and change them into narratives where being queer is natural, universal. This metamorphosis is about reimagining the world to include people like me.” Fantastic… to have books that include people that were previously excluded. To not have to read a coming out novel, because not everyone is always coming out. They’ve either done it or not. To have your life go back to that level where you are comfortable and accepted and normal. Yet what is even normal about modern folklore anyhow. And that’s the freedom. I will definitely be checking out Lo’s books. The following are the books our library system currently has (anyone want to review them for me?):

Hold Me Closer by David Levithan(Review by Shoshana Flax) Hold Me Closer: The Tiny Cooper Story by David Levithan. The Horn Book March/April 2015, p. 103. Now I can’t repost the review here, but this follows Tiny Cooper, and this is the musical of his life. This is a coming out story. And Will Grayson, Will Grayson fans will mostly be the ones drawn to this book. But I have not read it myself yet.

 

 

More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera(Review by Ruth Quiroa) More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera. School Library Journal May 2015, p. 124. This is slotted as a fiction YA book for grades 9+ It is a debut book. This looks like an intense book that I definitely want to pick up. So if you have teens that are drawn to the reckless and suspenseful real-life situations, this seems like a great book to put in their hands. It looks like there are many themes explored by a kid who wants to do right and finds himself in hard situations with a half-formed identity. (Which, I’m sure a lot of kids can related to, maybe not to this degree). I also like that it looks like even though he’s “messed up” and angsty, he has a good family.

Anything Could Happen by Will Walton(Review by Sarah Stone) Anything Could Happen by Will Walton. School Library Journal May 2015, p. 125. Grades 8+ Also a debut novel. Great family. Small traditional town. Crush on best friend. Classic. Compared to Boy Meets Boy and labeled as sweet. Sounds slightly boring, although I did enjoy Boy Meets Boy (one of the first ‘gay’ books I read). But it’s nice to see other perspectives since many of us are not living in a rural area. And we all need some sweetness in our life. Teen books don’t have to all be gritty.

 

Keeping You a Secret by Julie Anne PetersSomeone (can’t remember who) also recommended Keeping You a Secret by Julie Anne Peters (2005). Here’s the catalog summary: As she begins a very tough last semester of high school, Holland finds herself puzzled about her future and intrigued by a transfer student who wants to start a lesbigay club at school. And it looks like it might be kind of hi-lo because the lexile is 460 (which may come in handy in readers’ advisory).

 

 

Stonewall by Ann Bausum(Review by Nancy Silverrod) Stonewall: Breaking Out in the Fight for Gay Rights by Ann Bausum. School Library Journal April 2015, p. 182. Grades 9+ A nonfiction book, it is a wealth of “well-researched” information on the Stonewall riots of 1969, the first real push back from the gay community for their rights that started a landslide of civil rights movements for this group. Later chapters cover other events and issues in activism and politics. Lots of primary resources (my favorite)! This looks outstanding if I had the time to actually read it. The Stonewall Book Awards are named after this event.

Read Bausum’s interview in School Library Journal’s “Takin’ It to the Streets,” by Daryl Grabarek. June 2015. pp. 42-45.